English country garden wedding: stationary

One of my favourite and a very popular wedding theme: English country garden party/summer fete. This theme usually has an air of nostalgia. Key features include bunting, Pimms, informality, afternoon tea, hay bales, homemade favours.

I *tried* to make my own wedding invitations, but they looked rubbish. I ended up using a design from Tickled Pink and asked them to change various colours and font sizes to suit our wedding (and my perfectionism) perfectly. This was a bit of an extravagance, but they are gorgeous and I’m still so pleased with them. I really wanted to set the scene with our stationary, and I think we succeeded in letting our guests know the type of wedding we were planning and what they could expect. Here they are!

A year has passed so I’m wondering which stationary would I pick out if I was planning my wedding now?

I still love Tickled Pink. Their designs are crisp and impressive enough for special wedding stationary yet so down to earth and unpretentious. That’s a pretty hard balance to strike, but they get it right. Check out these super pretty designs which would all be great for an English garden theme:

Vintage Hearts

English Rose

Lace and Roses

Winter Wreath

Heart Invites has a new stationary collection called County Fayre. It combines lovely pink and green bunting with a fine green polka dot background. I’m not overly keen on the font which is a bit too modern in a wild wild west way for my tastes.

Country Fayre Range

I’ve also found this beautiful hand-painted stationary available from Pip Pip Designs. Their range is small but gorgeously and quintessentially English. This is my favourite design of theirs:

Bunting Wedding Stationary

Victoria Whincup offers these delightful personalised invitations, hand-drawn and hand-painted through her Etsy shop. I particularly like this design, which feels organic, floaty and gives a great sense of relaxed informality. Do browse her adorable designs. Her style reminds me of Rob Ryan’s papercutwork which I love.

Pink Flowers

Giftwrappedandgorgeous bring you Kate Lewis Design Wedding Stationary. Her cake and bunting design is hand-finished with sequins and crystals but remains rustic with a bubbly, fun feel.

Applique Cake

For a more homemade look how about this from Tailored Wedding Plans.

Bunting Style Wedding Invitation

Vintage Brown Card Floral

Tailored Wedding Plans do great table plans too. This vintage glam look would have been great for my think pink wedding 🙂

Crystals, Pearls and Vintage Style Lace

Another fabulously pink invitation is available from Beautiful Day through Not On The High Street.com

This design might be my most favourite of all! It combines bunting, cake, roses, and a bit of glam. Love it! This just shows how researching outside of ‘wedding’ suppliers and websites can yield the very best results!

Shabby Chic Bunting Party Invitation

I search for things like this one of two ways. Type your search terms into Google Images and click into the websites belonging to the images you like best. Chances are if a company does a bunting design, they will do other designs that fit with the English country garden theme too. Or search for local companies who specialise in bespoke or hand-painted stationary. You can link through to great Stationers through the websites of other wedding suppliers who share the same type of ethos or niche focus.

Happy hunting stationary lovers!

Weddings as they used to be

Going vintage is all the rage, but we’re not just going vintage because it’s pretty or because it’s cool. The wedding industry is vast. There are certain gate keepers and venues in particular love to tell brides what we must have, what we can’t have, what’s possible, and how much it will all cost us to do it their way. Most brides faced with the authority of the industry go with it, wanting to put on the perfect wedding for themselves and their guests. People expect certain things of weddings – a certain kind of dress, certain drinks, certain music, certain transport, certain grandeur and formality, certain entertainment, certain food, certain favours, certain dancing, certain schedule for the day. Planning a wedding is no mean feat.

But not all brides want the conventional wedding, which has become rather more about the after party than the ceremony itself. To me that reflects the pressure on the couple to make sure their guests have a great time, that everyone is pleased. What about the couple though, are they building in moments during the day to be alone together, to soak it up, to reflect, to spend that precious day on things that really mean the most to them as individuals and as a couple? OK for some brides and grooms the most important thing is pleasing their guests; is having a good drunken dance; they might be happy just to get through the day without any stress. That’s not good enough for me, your wedding day should be magical and memorable in those ways significant to you both, and to your family and friends.

So brides and bridegrooms to be, what do you want?! Think about what your ideal wedding would look like if you could remove all the conventional boundaries, rules, and obstacles. Think about what a wedding is really about, traditionally, culturally, at its essence. That should be your starting point. Build your wedding around those dreams. If that means looking for an unusual venue, having your dress made from scratch, reducing your guest list to only 20, serving cheese instead of cake, arriving on a bicycle, ending the wedding at 5pm, then do it. If that’s what you want, don’t let the expectations or narrow-mindedness of others stop you, no matter how much you love them. This day is about you. Dare to dream!

If you’re thinking of a vintage wedding consider holding the ceremony in a family back garden, at a village hall, in a tea room, on a farm, exchanging vows in a hot air balloon, on a narrow boat. As long as the venue is safe and dignified the choice is all yours, with humanist ceremonies.